Texas Rangers: Five NRI’s to watch this spring training

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Could any of these NRI’s make the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster?

In the spring of 2019, Danny Santana signed with the Texas Rangers on a minor league deal, and ended up being the team’s 2019 MVP.

He had an excellent spring and made the Opening Day roster.

Hunter Pence went on to be a 2019 All-Star for his hometown team after signing as an NRI with Texas in what would be his last productive season in the major leagues.

In 2020, Rob Refsnyder hit his way onto the Opening Day roster, although that ultimately was short lived.

Heading into 2021, the Texas Rangers have plenty of options to help fill out their roster.

Former first-rounders to longtime minor leaguers waiting for a chance, they all have an opportunity to showcase what they’ve got.

Here are five of the more intriguing guys in camp, looking to make an impact at the big league level this season, and potentially the Opening Day roster.

Texas Rangers

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Texas Rangers NRI’s to watch: LHP-Hyeon-jong Yang

The 32-year old left-hander from Korea is in Rangers’ camp looking to solidify a spot in the Texas rotation.

As it stands now, he looks like the odd-man out, but the Texas Rangers may look to implement a six-man rotation this season to limit innings for Dane Dunning and Kyle Cody.

In 14 seasons with the Kia Tigers, Hyeon-jong Yang had a 3.83 ERA over 1,986 innings pitched, racking up over 1,600 strikeouts and a 1.377 total WHIP.

Both Kohei Arihara and Yang threw more innings last season than any Rangers’ pitcher did in 2020.

Yang will eat innings and give the Rangers an extended break for their younger starters.

He won’t be in camp until early next week because of a visa issue, but he will give the Texas Rangers an intriguing rotation option.

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